Tuesday, January 18, 2011

RTW Roulette

I have the basis of my Star Alliance frequent flyer mile round-the-world ticket.

It goes like this:

1) Newark-Malaga (Spain)
2) Cape Town-Madagascar

3) Madagascar-Bangkok

4) Bangkok-Tahiti

5) Tahiti-New York.

I get six stops and one open-jaw. The last leg home doesn't count. Or maybe it does.

I get a different answer every time I call. Yesterday, the consultant put me on hold and checked with Star Alliance. They said I have four stops and an open jaw scheduled, and that I'm entitled to two more stops.

Other consultants, during other phone calls, have said that I have either five or six stops already.

I have no reason to believe that one person answering the phone knows anymore than any other person. Therefore, I have no idea how many stops I have so far.

I tried to get yesterday's helper to walk me through what else might be available to me as a stop.

"No, no one on Star Alliance goes to Vanuatu or Tonga. No one goes to Fiji. You can't go to Yap without backtracking. In fact, I'm pretty sure you can't go anywhere and I'm tired and I already answered your one question about the number of stops and I have to pee, so will you please hang up and leave me alone?"

Okay, I made up that last bit. But, uh, you already backtracked me out of Madgascar and Tahiti where there was no other way out, no different from Yap or Tonga, and I can see perfectly well that Continental Micronesia goes to Yap, and that Air New Zealand goes to the other places, and if you'd look at the goddamned map, maybe you'd suggest Sydney or Perth or freaking Manila or Bali or Auckland but yeah, that would take a lot of work, wouldn't it? (Marie steams and manages not say this on the phone.)

I guess I'll try again and hope to get someone different on the phone. Two of the people who helped me so far were outstanding.

1 comment:

Ed Ward said...

When someone at a call center does something good, always mention it explicitly before you hang up, because supervisors may be listening (as the little recording you get before they put you on says) and someone who does a good job might get rewarded.

Not, I realize, that this happens all that often.